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“You are what you eat from your head down to your feet”- Pajama Sam
The foods we eat are fuel for our bodies. Our bodies were designed to use healthy foods to help nourish us and carry out important functions. Certain vitamins, minerals, and other important properties in foods actually enhance our function and optimize our health. When we eat whole foods free from chemicals and too much fat, salt, and sugar, our bodies flourish.
Our mental health is directly tied to the foods we eat. Like our bodies function best from healthy foods, our minds operate at their fullest capacity when we eat right. Have you ever experienced the food fog that comes after eating a highly processed meal? This is the brain reacting to the high salt, fat, and sugar you ingested. In the same way, eating healthy foods helps your mind feel clearer. You are also better able to solve problems and make better decisions.
There are many diets that promote brain health. The Mediterranean and the Macrobiotic diets are two that prevent mental decline and promote a healthy brain and body.
The Mediterranean diet is based on the foods that are eaten in the Mediterranean region. This diet highlights whole grains, healthy fats, veggies, fruits, fish, and very little meat outside of fish. This diet is wonderful for lowering heart-related diseases and reducing associated illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure.
The Mediterranean diet also includes an emphasis on spending time with family and being social. The diet also encourages physical fitness and fresh air. All of these are components of the lifestyle of the Mediterranean people.
The Mediterranean diet uses a pyramid to describe food consumption and a hierarchy of good, better and best foods. In essence eating whole grains regularly is ideal. Fruits and veggies are secondary and oils, meats, and meat products are occasional items.
The Macrobiotic diet places a great emphasis on well-being and uses food to assist in your physical health. This diet is modeled after some of the oldest living civilizations. While it’s similar to the Mediterranean diet, it has some unique differences.
The Macrobiotic diet gives equal importance to four main food groups. Rather than a pyramid with one food being preferential, the Macrobiotic diet categorizes grains, nuts & seeds, legumes, and vegetables equally at a 25% ratio.. Additionally, the diet does not include meat or meat products, unlike the Mediterranean diet. The Macrobiotic diet also encourages fermented and pickled foods, certain beverages, and natural sweeteners.
Additionally, the diet focuses on implementing a daily structure that reduces stress and optimizes the mind-body connection, incorporated with diet and exercise.
Your mind is part of a body and how you eat directly affects your mind. You can prevent or slow down mental decline by watching your diet and what you use for fuel and energy.
Loving Life–The Reboot!